Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, April 01, 2013


The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. In September 2012 Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

  • NEWSLINK: Animals wandering into unusual territory...
  • NEWSLINK: India Leopards Show No Fear Of Humans
  • NEWSLINK: Will the cheetah growl?
  • NEWSLINK: Cat once mistaken for cougar caught, rel...
  • CRYPTOLINK: Mystery 'monster' stalks Vallejo's Lake Chabot - No fooling!

    Bill Richard with Trevor Allen, right, and Shannon O'Hare steering from Obtanium Works tow Cecil the Chabot Monster into the boat docks at Lake Chabot in Vallejo. The creation was set afloat as an early April Fools stunt. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)
    A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.

    It's easy to tell the difference between the monster that lurks beneath Loch Ness in Scotland and the one that was briefly sighted Sunday in Vallejo's Lake Chabot.

    The Vallejo creature wore mascara.

    For about an hour Sunday, the lake bounded by Dan Foley Park and Six Flags Discover Kingdom hosted the latest project of Vallejo art car factory Obtanium Works: a foam replica of the so-called Loch Ness Monster.

    "This might not be a real monster," said Shannon Lacy, who watched from the fishing dock as the green monstrosity bobbed on the lake surface.

    The artists of Obtanium Works, known for creating their fantastical art cars that have become a staple at both Burning Man and Vallejo events like the Mad Hatter Parade, spent months developing the early April Fools prank.

    They even put together a two-page faux history of "The Lake Chabot" creature, which can be traced back to the Spanish Mission era and to the modern day investigation of the "Traveling Academy of Unnatural Sciences -- Cryptozoology Division." Like the Scottish monster affectionately known to locals there as "Nessie," the Lake Chabot monster also has a name.


    In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. So after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

    Research Documents Lesser Prairie Chickens


    It seems very quiet here without Lars and the kids. Even Graham is absent (at the Hawkwind one-dayer in Seaton). I am celebrating April Fool's Day by my irregular attempts to get into Depeche Mode. I say irregular, because this is the first time I have listened to one of their albums since the early 90s. However, the reviews of 'Delta Machine' were so beguiling, I had to check it out. But I am sad to admit that although it is more to my taste than other albums of theirs, the synthesisers just grate on me, and all-in-all I just don't get it. Sorry Chaps. I will try again in another twenty years.
    Corinna and I are going away tomorrow, and will not be back until Thursday or Friday. We are going to visit the orange cat (who lives with Shosh and Gavin in Staffordshire) and then going to collect Mama for another protracted visit. Along the way we are intending to visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. In the meantime Graham is in charge. I will probably not have access to a computer this time, so don't expect answers to emails...
    Once again we repair to Austin for our daily audience with Thom the World Poet
    *  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    *  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link:
    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and a not very small orange kitten (who isn't) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cats?

    DALE DRINNON: Sumatran pygmies, Cedar & Willow, Benny's Blogs

    New at Frontiers of Zoology:
    New at Cedar and Willow:
    New at Benny's Blog, The Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
    There have also been Easter Greetings posted for the Weekend
    Best Wishes, Dale D.

    ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

    News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

    From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

     Today is April Fools day so if you have any friends with cats make sure you procure catnip spray from your local petshop as hilarity will occur if you surreptitiously spray it around the seat of their trousers. And now the news:
    Here's some good ideas for April Fools pranks (not as good as my catnip one though) :